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Tying in with Rope Around the Waist


Original Post
Derrick W · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 564

I know, I know...this is mortifyingly unsafe and everyone who climbed in the 40s is dead now because they didn't use harnesses.  Nevertheless, I would like to learn how people tied in this way.  I knew a guy who used to hang around our local crag (which was TR only) and always tied in by wrapping the rope around his waist 4 or 5 times, then finishing with a sort of bowline that pinched all the wraps together.  Does anyone know how to tie in like this?

Forrset Pials · · New York, NYC · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

My dad did that once when I was out climbing some easy topropes with him. I can ask him if you like? If I recall he did pretty much what u said, just wrapped the rope like 4 times and did a figure 8 or something

Bryan Gilmore · · FLG, AZ · Joined Nov 2005 · Points: 1,225

simpler to just ask google these questions...

tradvlad · · SLC, UT · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 5

The knot you are looking for would be the 'bowline on a coil'

Derrick W · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 564
Bryan Gilmore wrote: simpler to just ask google these questions...

Thank you for your very helpful and enlightening response...I know how to tie a bowline.  My question was "How did climbers tie in with a rope around their waist?"

Max Tepfer · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 1,686
Derrick W wrote:

Thank you for your very helpful and enlightening response...I know how to tie a bowline.  My question was "How did climbers tie in with a rope around their waist?"

While he didn't connect all the dots for you, he did answer your question.  The video demonstrates how climbers tie (or tied) in with the rope around their waists. (though you want to add an overhand backup with the tail of the bowline)

Bryan Gilmore · · FLG, AZ · Joined Nov 2005 · Points: 1,225
Derrick W wrote:

My question was "How did climbers tie in with a rope around their waist?"

that's it, you already know about "wrapping the rope around his waist 4 or 5 times". 

Igor Chained · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70
Derrick W wrote:

Thank you for your very helpful and enlightening response...I know how to tie a bowline.  My question was "How did climbers tie in with a rope around their waist?"

So wrap the rope around your waist 4 or 5 times, tie a goddamn bowline and go whip it.

Freaking millennials...
mountainhick · · Black Hawk, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 120

tradvlad nailed it.

My first climbing was with bowline on a coil, and I used it early on for a lot of mountaineering where falls were extremely unlikely, but roped travel really good insurance.

Quickly became savvy to using a swami belt, then got leg loops to go with it, then eventually an actual harness probably 2 years into climbing. And yes, I was leading rock on a swami only. One of the reasons for the old adage the leader must not fall. Was a different era in climbing for sure.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 420

Tried this out back in the day, double bunny-eared figure 8, isolated by the bowline. Took a couple TR falls on it and it was uncomfortably fine. Would not want to take a lead fall on it.

Vaughn · · Colorado · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 50

This Caving Website has a nice photo sequence showing how to tie the bowline on a coil. It's about halfway down the page.
Rprops · · North Las Vegas · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 921

I do it Kevin's way, but with bowline on a bight for leg loops. Same difference. I also bring it all to the center with a loop or biner to use as a belay loop.  Could start with the leg loops, then go multiple wraps around the waist  as well.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187
Max Tepfer wrote:

While he didn't connect all the dots for you, he did answer your question.  The video demonstrates how climbers tie (or tied) in with the rope around their waists. (though you want to add an overhand backup with the tail of the bowline)

Actually that video shows something different than what the OP asked about. Which as noted is a bowline on a coil"

http://wildernessarena.com/skills/climbing-skills/bowline-on-a-coil

The "trick" is properly sliding the bight under the coils.
F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 356

I made one out of tied webbing, wouldn't recommend it unless out are a eunuch.  You can look at the Army's Mountain Warfare Handouts for more barbaric techniques.

i shore · · London · Joined May 2018 · Points: 0

In the 60s I was taught to tie in direct with a bowline using a single loop of polypropylene rope (bottom roping), We all fell off a lot, mildy uncomfortable. The first leader fall I saw was about 30 feet tied on direct (Kernmantel).
When I started lead climbing I rapidly progressed to clipping a figure 8 loop into a hemp waistband (cord wrapped several times round waist and tied with a reef knot...the idea was that nylon cord around the waist could melt through if holding a fall as everyone used waist belays). There were  improvements becoming available: a padded tunnel for the rope to pass through, and a wide, buckled, tape belt instead of a waistband.
I think, but not sure, that the UK Mountain Leadership Certificate still recommends a direct tie on for assisting someone on easy ground. Presumably because its much simpler and quicker than arranging leg loops etc.
There was a famous incident in the 1930s when the British climber Noyce fell 180 feet (would almost certainly have been tied on direct with a bowline on the hemp rope) and was stopped by Menlove Edwards using a waist belay. He was badly injured though not by the rope, and Edwards's hands were deeply burnt.
Of course hanging free from the waist for about 5-15 minutes results in asphyxiation.

David S · · Daly City · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 10

If you believe the military is not in the business of doing things unsafely, here is their rope harness ('swiss seat') for rappelling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH9F09Dr3lU

PS You only have 60 seconds to rig it!

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

"Wrapping the rope around or waist and tying a bowline" us a prescription for strangulation.  The correct knot, used by climbers, is a bowline on a coil (see, for example, wildernessarena.com/skills/… ) which traps all the turns so they can't tighten sequentially.  In the US, it was used for a while until replaced by swami belts.  Of course, for quite a long time, climbers tied in with a single turn of rope fastened by a bowline.

I last used a bowline on a coil just a few years ago on. a day when I forgot my harness.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

I still pull it out occasionally to freak the newbies out. Or when someone left their harness at home.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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